I read that there will be no CGI whatsoever in recent remake of the classic horror film Evil Dead. I think this is brilliant. I've been waiting for a filmmaker out there to have the balls to actually go old school and thumb their nose at what people have been conditioned to and what is cheaper, yet, in my opinion and probably that of many others, looks just as cheap if not completely fake and or cartoonish. Let's face it, we've become used to computer generated images in our films, particularly those in the horror genre. We just accept it though, deep inside, we know it looks like utter shit and when done terribly it can draw us out of the movie in an instant.
Remember The Exorcist? Of course you do, and you may remember the scene where Regan's room drops to freezing temperatures and you can see the priest's breath as he is attempting to expel the demon. They filmed that scene in a huge refrigerated room to achieve that important detail, but now...oh hell no, the CGI team can just add in some fake breath after the movie is filmed. Looks real enough, right? No. It doesn't and it never has. Same thing with snow. A filmmaker can hardly be bothered to use fake snow because they can get the CGI team to insert it after the film is shot.
Now, there is room for CGI, but it needs to be used delicately and, in most cases, should be restricted to the background. The viewer shouldn't know that something has been computer generated or enhanced. Once the viewer consciously thinks to themselves that yes, CGI is in use, the filmmaker has failed. I figure I may be in the minority on this one, but that's how I feel. I have never been able to get into superhero movies because they look like cartoons. Spiderman swinging through skyscrapers just looks ridiculous. I'd much rather watch Tim Burton's Batman (and I did a few weeks back--still holds up after all these years). Monster movies are full of CGI, and most often they are unpalatable. It can be done even to create something huge and menacing, but the FX must be finessed rather than an inexpensive substitute for real prosthetics and make up.
There is no werewolf transformation quite like that in An American Werewolf in London, no nasty creature like the thing in Cronenberg's The Fly or, for that matter, Carpenter's The Thing. You couldn't have created such vile monstrosities with CGI, and it has been tried. Good god it's been tried, and failed at every turn. I liked Cabin in the Woods, but I had to seriously excuse the bombardment of CGI during that final sequence of events with all the monsters and madmen. It really was kind of ridiculous, but even I, someone who has a deep loathing for CGI, can look past such uninspiring effects from time to time. I have to if I want to watch movies anymore because CGI has become, sadly, the standard...
Until now. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Evil Dead not only because of the fact that they went old school and used real FX, but also due to the striking trailer. My distaste for remakes is equal to that of CGI, but this one has me interested.